CollegeSource and AcademyOne compete in the market to assist students and educational institutions with the college transfer process. CollegeSource, a California corporation with its principal place of business in California, maintains a digital collection of 44,000 course catalogs from 3,000 colleges and universities dating back to 1993. Each catalog is available as a .pdf file on CollegeSource’s websites collegesource.com, collegesource.org, and tes.collegesource.org. Students and college administrators may consult the catalogs to compare courses at different schools, or to research what credits a transferring student will obtain or what prerequisites she will have satisfied by virtue of courses taken at her prior institution. CollegeSource compiled its collection in large part by digitizing paper catalogs using Optical Character Recognition software, which converts a printed page into a digital format that may be searched, copied, and pasted. CollegeSource alleges that its collection of catalogs cost more than $10 million to compile and has “significant commercial value.” Students, parents, guidance counselors, and teachers may use CollegeSource’s collection of catalogs for free, but libraries and educational institutions must pay to do so. CollegeSource has also used the information in its collection of catalogs to construct a searchable database of individual course descriptions that permits rapid assessment of course equivalencies and is available to educational institutions for a fee.
AcademyOne is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania. AcademyOne’s services resemble CollegeSource’s. AcademyOne’s “Course Atlas” contains course catalogs for the current academic year, and its “Course Equivalency Management Center” enables users to compare the equivalencies of courses at different schools. Both services are available on AcademyOne’s websites academyone.com, collegetransfer.net, and courseatlas. com. Students who register with AcademyOne may search these websites for information on courses, educational institutions, and course equivalencies; create custom-designed “Equivalency Maps” and “Transfer Planning Guides”; upload documents such as letters of recommendation and resumes to a “Storage Center”; and post on a message board. Academy- One permits students to use many of the websites’ tools for free, but requires users to purchase subscriptions in order to access the websites’ more advanced features, including the Course Equivalency Management Center. Most of Academy- One’s paying subscribers are educational institutions and state higher education agencies.
AcademyOne seeks to serve a national market, but it has specifically targeted California students and schools. For example, AcademyOne owns several Google AdWords that include the term “California.” An AdWord is a word or phrase that, when entered as a search term in Google, prompts Google to display an advertisement designed by the AdWord owner linking to the owner’s website. For example, AcademyOne owns the AdWord “California college transfer.” When a Google user searches that phrase, Google returns both a list of relevant websites as determined by its own algorithm and advertisements for companies, including AcademyOne, interested in targeting people who have searched that phrase. The AdWord owner hopes that the user will visit its advertised website in addition to, or in lieu of, the websites returned in the search results proper. See generally Google AdWords, http://www.google.com/ads/adwords2 (last visited July 21, 2011); Network Automation, Inc. v. Advanced Sys. Concepts, 638 F.3d 1137, 1142-43 (9th Cir. 2011). AcademyOne also solicited California colleges and state educational agencies by phone and email, and sponsored the keynote speaker at a conference of state higher education executive officers in San Diego.
Judge(s): William A. Fletcher
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Communications , Education , Torts , Trade Secret
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Alexander Papaefthimiou||Law Offices of Darren J. Quinn|
|Darren Quinn||Law Offices of Darren J. Quinn|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|John Cooley||Duane Morris LLP|
|Karen Crawford||Duane Morris LLP|
|Aliza Karetnick||Duane Morris LLP|
|David Landau||Duane Morris LLP|